Mike at SBS
SBS in 2021
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
We've kicked 2020 to the curb and it's time to press on into 2021! What's that mean for Scary Biscuits Studios? Well, let's first take a quick look back before we take our next steps forward.
2020 was the Year of the Ironclad. I was excited to transition my Dreadnought rules into the Ironclad era and explore that period of history through the lens of my naval game system. I thought it would be a simple port, with just a few rules here and there to add to an otherwise simple copy and paste job. How wrong I was! Player feedback and enthusiasm took me by surprise as fans of the genre came to lend me their support. It was tremendously humbling and I am eternally grateful and they gave me tremendous energy to press forward.
I set out to make a naval game that was accessible for players of all types and ages, fun, and inexpensive. By mid year, I believe we've achieved just that. We had the first set of alpha rules ready for testing. Again, the community came to my aid, offering help with proofreading, rules editing, testing, and more. Again, I'm privileged to have such quality help!
I also launched the game on BGG and submitted the full print-and-play version of it in the the BGG 2020 Wargame Print and Play Game Design Contest. Ironclads performed well, thanks in large part to the feedback and testing support I've received from many amazing people:
Best Use of Theme: 2nd Place
Best Art/Graphic Design: 1st Place
Best Rule Book: 1st Place
Best Mechanics: 2nd Place
Most Original Design: 4th Place
Best Multi-player Experience: 2nd Place
Best Over All: 3rd Place
By the close of the year, I had updated the rulebook six times, each version more sturdy than the previous. I also released some battle packs with ship cards for the Battle of Charleston Bay and the Battle of Memphis, adding more than three dozen new ship cards to the game. Then, finally, in the first few weeks of the new year I've been working on a solitaire campaign system for the game for players to enjoy while they are locked up in their houses.
Looking back, together we've created over 50 pages of content, 86 ship cards, a full print-and-play pack with 60 Damage cards, 18 Upgrade cards, and many tokens and quick reference cards. That's a staggering amount of content!
So what's that mean for 2021? Well, I want to do more! There's still so much more to discover, design, and put into the game. The topic is deep and broad and there's a lot more to cover in the war itself. Of course, I also want to add ironclads and ships of other nations as well, such as the famous HMS Warrior and Gloire! Looking even further I've got my sights set on the Spanish-American War and other Victorian-era naval conflicts.
My strategic goal of 2021 is to prepare the game to hit the market in some form or another, by the end of the year. We're close. We've got the rules, a few expansions, and even a campaign system coming together. I'm working on the business case and product design now and then we'll be ready to take the plunge.
So as you can see there's a lot left to cover and I'll need your help to bring it alive. I've started a Patreon campaign to raise some funds to help finish the product and prepare it for the market. By supporting my design work, you'll get early access to new content, receive updates, and more. With your help, we can bring Ironclads to a gameshop near you. If you'd like to join me for that journey, please consider subscribing to my new Patreon page.
Of course, there will still be regular content coming through here on my website, on our Scary Biscuits Studios facebook page, and our indefatigable SBS-Ironclads Group on Facebook. There won't be any changes in those areas, but do please consider supporting further design work via Patreon!
Ok, well, that's 2020 done and dusted, and 2021 all mapped out with an ambitious plan to get Ironclads to market! Thank you for your support so far, it's means a great deal to me and it keeps me going each night as I sit down at the computer to hammer out a few new lines. I do hope you'll join me for an exciting year of Ironclads development and more!
Thank you, and I want to wish you all a very happy new year!
All the best in 2021!